Epoxy resin usually comes with a hardener. This hardener is the key factor that reacts with the resin to form a tight bond with epoxy resin and seal or coat your surface. Although manufacturers have steps on how to use epoxy resin and hardener they often fall short of what is truly on the ground during epoxy resin crafts.
We, therefore, highlight the steps we take on how to use resin and hardener with no step skipped. We cover all steps you will cover to achieve the best results whether you want to learn how to mix Araldite resin and hardener, how to use Araldite resin and hardener, or even how to use Loctite epoxy resin and hardener.
How to Use Epoxy Resin and Hardener – Ultimate Guide
Step 1: How to calculate epoxy resin volume
Define the dimensions of the area that you wish to apply epoxy resin and the height or thickness which you want to achieve.
The formula for calculating epoxy volume is Length X Width X Height
For example, you want to apply resin on a wooden floor measuring 3 meters (118 inches) X 4 meters (157 inches) with an epoxy resin height of 0.3 centimeters (⅛ inches).
The volume you need will be calculated as
118 inches X 157 inches X ⅛ inches = 2,316 cubic inches
3 meters X 4 Meters X 0.003 meters = 0.036 cubic meters
2,316 cubic inches or 0.036 cubic meters is equal to 10 gallons (38 liters).
Therefore we will need a total of 10 gallons for the sum of the volume of hardener and resin.
The epoxy resin and hardener should exceed this volume slightly due to wastage and cater for any spillage and the inevitable loss of epoxy resin or hardener.
Learn More Here: How to Use Epoxy Resin on Wood
Step 2: Create the best Working environment
The first step when learning how to use epoxy and hardener is to select the best working environment for your epoxy and hardener. Although many epoxy resins and hardeners require different environments for optimal performance, there are several rules of thumb to achieve the best epoxy resin and hardener results.
The ideal temperature to work at with resin and hardener is around a constant 77°F (25 °C).
However, the best results with great workmanship can only be obtained with constant temperature ranging from 70°F and 85°F (21°C and 29°C).
Use resin and hardener in a dry; moisture free, clean; debris-free, dust-free, low humidity and level; flat, working space to achieve the best results from your epoxy
Step 3: how to determine the ratio of epoxy resin and hardener
how much resin and hardener do I mix is not an up-to-you question rather than a manufacturer’s instruction. All up-to-standard resins come with clear labels of the epoxy resin to hardener ratio. Some of the common how to mix resin and hardener ratios include 1:1, 2:1, 3:1, and 4:1.
For example, you may further ask what is the ratio of hardener to resin for a 1:1 mix ratio? The answer here is equal parts of the epoxy resin and hardener should be mixed as recommended.
Also, if you want to know how to mix the epoxy resin and a hardener ratio of 2:1, then the answer would be mixing 2 parts of epoxy resin with 1 part of the hardener.
In most cases, the epoxy resin is the part with more parts than the hardener in the mix ratio.
Step 4: how to measure epoxy resin and hardener
You need a measuring jar or cylinder to accurately measure resin and hardener. The volume you need to measure out of each part of the hardener and resin will depend on the volume of epoxy resin you need and the mix ratio.
In our example, you need a total of 10 gallons (38 liters), and let us say the epoxy resin we choose has a mix ratio of 3:1. We, therefore, need 7.5 gallons (28.5 liters) of epoxy resin and 2.5 gallons (9.5 liters).
Always start with the curing agent or hardener before the base resin.
How to measure resin and hardener in ml
For you to measure resin and hardener in ml you will need to pour the epoxy resin into a measuring cylinder or jar calibrated in milliliters and allow the meniscus to be rest on the mark at which you require from the calculation; in our case 7.5 gallons for resin and 2.5 gallons for hardener. If the measuring cylinder is not this big, it is possible to know how much you can comfortably measure per go and do that till the desired volume is achieved.
Step 5: how to mix resin and hardener
As you measure out the hardener or curing agent you can pour it into the mixing bowl. The epoxy resin should be first in the bowl followed by the base resin.
Ideal features of the mixing bowl include clean and free of dust and debris, smooth-sided as not to ‘hide’ epoxy resin, and large enough to hold as much liquid as you want for the portion of epoxy resin and hardener that you have already measured out.
So this is actually how to mix hardener and resin
Use a plastic, wooden or metallic spatula to mix or use a whisker or even a blender.
Mix the two parts (epoxy resin and hardener) thoroughly for at least 3 minutes to 5 minutes. Ensure that you thoroughly scrape the sides, bottom, and corners of the mixing bowl as you mix. However, as you vigorously try to mix, be cautious of whipping excessive air into the mix to avoid running into trouble with bubbles.
Also, to reduce the effects of high heat from the exothermic reaction involved, never mix more than one gallon and do the mixing in 1 gal proportions.
Finally, pour the mixture into another clean mixing bowl and let it settle for 60 seconds to 90 seconds.
Learn More Here: Best Epoxy Resin for Coasters
Step 6: how to apply epoxy resin and hardener
The following steps are the best tips on how to apply resin and hardeners – the last step to learning How to Use Epoxy Resin and Hardener.
- Pour the mixture of the resin and the hardener onto the surface you want to epoxy, in our case the wooden floor.
- Distribute this mixture evenly with a glove on or with a squeegee.
- Pour remaining mixture to the desired thickness in our case ⅛ inches
- Ensure the resin and hardener mixture covers the slides of the area you want to epoxy
- Do not cross the maximum thickness per pour limit set on the resin.
- Use a heat gun or any other heat source to eliminate bubbles from the epoxy resin layer
- If you require a second pour check the manufacture’s instructions on pour intervals. Remove bubbles even for consecutive layers
Tools and Materials Used
Great Gloves for mixing epoxy resin and hardener
Frequently Asked Questions
Can resin be used without hardener?
Resin can be used without hardener only if the epoxy has an in-built hardener in its formulation and thus does not require mixing with a hardener. These one-part epoxy resins do not require hardeners and as such can be used without hardeners.
How to use resin without hardener
The way you use resin without hardener is determining how much you need for your project and squeezing and distributing along the surface your want to epoxy. This process shortcuts the process of calculating the epoxy resin to hardener ratio.
This was a detailed tutorial taking us through the basic steps we need to follow when using epoxy resin and hardeners. From estimating how much resin we need, preparing the correct environment, calculating the epoxy resin to hardener ratio, mixing epoxy resin and hardener, and even actual application, I hope you have learned one tip or two which will take you a long way into your epoxy resin hobby or profession.
All the best learning How to Use Epoxy Resin and Hardener!